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Is a 1 month retreat enough?

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Is a 1 month retreat enough?
Answer
1/5/13 2:24 AM
Hi guys,

I'm gonna be starting a retreat at Buddhist Hermitage Lunas in about a weeks time (14th/15th of January), and I was wondering whether you guys think 1 month is long enough to make substantial progress in my meditation practice or whether I should put aside some of my study plans to stay longer?

I had initially planned to stay longer, say 3 months, but my university papers have changed slightly which has put a bit of a spanner in the works. Also, I haven't been on any meditation retreats before so it'll be a totally new experience for me.

Let me know what ya think,

Andy.

RE: Is a 1 month retreat enough?
Answer
1/5/13 4:46 AM as a reply to Andy Robert Morgan.
Do you know what the retreat environment there is like? Is it a silent retreat, etc?
Retreats can be tough. I remember at my first 10-day goenka retreat, talking with the other people before we started on the first day, how big of a deal we all thought it was to spend ten entire days in solitude and silence and doing hours of meditation every day. I guess all I mean is, if it's your first retreat ever, don't underestimate it! A whole month certainly is plenty of time to make good progress. People make good progress on 10 day retreats. It's more about how well you use your time - and on longer retreats, it's certainly possible to not practice as well as you would on a shorter one, if you don't know your hindrances well enough, or if it somehow feels you'll be there "forever" and thus be less motivated to really practice, etc.

So based on what you say, if this is your first retreat and there is a spanner in your original plans, then that's just totally fine, take the 1 month retreat and make the most of it (it's no small thing), and next time you get retreat time you'll have more experiences to take into consideration of how long your next retreat will be.

what i think*

RE: Is a 1 month retreat enough?
Answer
1/5/13 9:14 PM as a reply to Andrew K.
Thanks for your reply Andrew.

Based on what the website said, it looks like its a silent retreat (observing noble silence) and the meditation is probably pretty similar in structure and teaching to MBMC (1 hour sitting meditation, 1 hour walking meditation in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition). Also, I made sure there would be a Sayadaw in residence while I'm there so I should be in good hands.

Based on your advice I suppose I'll just have to make sure I use my time there as efficiently as possible. Theres a good Burmese meditation centre in Melbourne so I should be able to keep up my practice while I'm studying, until I go on retreat again.

Thanks again for your advice,

Andy.